Sunday Special: #Relaxation #Cutting #Edge and #Recovery

This is my WhatsApp pick for this week.

Again got pushed to ruminate.

What does it mean to be ‘on the cutting edge’?

Aren’t words like ‘on the cutting edge’, ‘bleeding edge’, ‘cut-throat’ etc violent in their own definition?

Do they make any sense in their conjunction with opposite and non-violent sentiments of relaxation, peace, calmness, meditation etc?

Unfortunately, the humour of the cartoonist puts one into a pensive mood to explore just this. The question to wonder about ‘where are we headed?’

In the modern age of intense competition and oneupmanship, there is a constant strive to be better than the rest. There is a never ending churn to try and beat the best.

Charles Darwin gave the concept of ‘Survival of the Fittest’. It essentially meant that in an ever-evolving world, only the ones who are fit to sustain the change will survive. The ones who cannot adapt will perish. Its a natural cycle of nature.

Modern world has grown way beyond just survival. Its more about elbowing out others and being combative. Long gone are the days to be accommodative.

Success at any cost – is the latest lesson being taught. But what is the definition of success?

Pervasive tech has opened new definitions, criteria and mantras for success.

There is an open debate on how do we measure success.

  • Some measure it through bank balance and net worth
  • Some measure it through fame – number of citations in the media or relevant prints
  • Some measure it through airtime
  • In current times, some measure by the number of followers on social media
  • Some measure if with their designation or with their position in hierarchy
  • Some measure it by the budgets they are managing
  • And the list goes on

Anything that gets measured and gets expressed in numbers ought to become a success criteria. Or in other words, new ways and means to measure almost things are being invented every single day.

With a booming world population, these numbers becomes a reliable and comparable metric to define success.

Hence, this forward holds a lot of significance. If one wants to be ‘on the cutting edge of relaxation’, what could be the success criteria for it –

  1. How many hours spent in meditation?
  2. Number of relaxation sessions attended?
  3. Amount of money spent on relaxation?
  4. Number of relaxation gurus known?
  5. Number of books read on the topic? Or even written on this?
  6. Number of times this is discussed in a day?
  7. Number of people added to the ‘herd’?
  8. Number of apps helping to do it?
  9. and so on…

We may need to wait for things to evolve better to understand this. Someone somewhere is surely working on this.

While we may need more time to assess this and come to a ‘Global Standard’ on how do we define ‘being on the cutting edge’, one of the charts from last week that caught my attention is the one by McKinsey on the recovery duration of some of the sectors in post COVID-19 world.

Its clear 2020 is a write-off year for almost all the businesses. Though hopes for a V-shape or a U-shape recovery continue to drive the markets at a broad level.

Thats all for this Sunday. Have a good time with your loved ones 🙂

Sunday Special: A #Picture’s worth a #Thousand #Words

Got this image as a forward on Whatsapp…

Initially, I thought of linking it with a recent research on narcissism from HBR.

Basically, short article speaks about the 2460 basketball games that have been analysed and their twitter feeds have been studied. It was found in the study that –

  1. Highly narcissist members are more active with self appreciation on their Twitter handles
  2. They do not make the best team members as they think of themselves much beyond their actual potential
  3. So the recommendation was to watch out for narcissists

This is again an open topic as many companies still continue to hire narcissists at multiple levels, as per this article of HBR.

Slightly dated but this article is still very relevant.

However, as I kept staring this photo more and more, I felt it could be interpreted as a following as well –

  • Projection of what you want to be
  • The beast within with soft outer composure
  • Pretending?
  • And more…

While not always one comes across such forwards, but this one truly made me thinking… a lot!

What do you make out of this forward? Happy to hear… leave comments anywhere 🙂

#Job #Hopping #Personalities

Job-hopping generation

Source of the image – Link here

In the current world, websites like LinkedIn have become a great platform for people to seek out new job opportunities. Same for organisations.

Given the current COVID-19 crisis, almost daily I come across 2 or 3 posts of people seeking to find a job as their company let them go, due to the economic situation.

Such posts are very popular. The power of social media is really unravelled in these times with a clear case multiple strangers coming to rescue to the person who starts the post. This help is extended either in case of connecting for an opportunity or by simply commenting so that more and more see in their personal feeds and the post goes viral.

I am sure many prospective candidates or affected people may have found their job of choice or compulsion with this. Great effort indeed!

But this also brings out the fact that many people (and companies) may be little hasty in making the job decision.

Given that hiring is an expensive process, HR leaders and hiring managers have often struggled with the possibility of the candidate leaving the job in few months or years from joining.

Problems becomes more complex with the fact that the current breed of young workers rate company loyalty relatively lower in their ranking of traits of a dream job. A better brand, a better culture or a better compensation can sway them to the other side of the door.

Another study found that in some sectors, the average stay in the company is reducing rapidly due to the high attrition.

People who move from one job to the other very often are popularly known as ‘Job Hoppers’.

One study says that in 2018, the turnover cost was $680 Billion in the US economy. Here is the link to the study.

As a phenomenon, job hopping has been an area of significant interest for both industry and academia.

Now a new study may have found the solution to this problem with the help of Artificial Intelligence techniques.

The study titled ‘Predicting job-hopping likelihood using answers to open-ended interview questions’ scanned through over 45,000+ interview responses to correlate them with personality types using multiple AI techniques to lead to conclusion.

Source – Link here

The personality types were identified using the following model –

  1. HEXACO Personality – Link here

The correlation models used for assessment of the personality types derived from the interview responses with the propensity of job hopping are below –

  1. Doc2Vec – DM (Gensim)
  2. LDA
  3. LIWC
  4. TF-IDF
  5. Word Embeddings
Source – Link here

The conclusion of the study is –

  1. Candidates with ‘Openness to Experience‘ personality type on HEXACO are most likely to indulge in job hopping
  2. And candidates with ‘Agreeableness‘ trait dominant in their personality type are least likely to indulge in it.

The full study with details of the future work prospects in the are a can be found here.

Sun Salutation

European and NASA spacecraft have captured the closest photo of the sun ever taken, sparking countless small bonfires everywhere. Sources: 7

On Thursday, scientists released the first image of the Solar Orbiter, which was launched from Cape Canaveral in Feb 2020. The solar image was taken by NASA’s Solar and Planetary Science Institute (SPIE) and the European Space Agency (ESA). The images, taken with the space telescope Imaging Spectrometer (STIS) aboard the spacecraft, were studied by scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, and the National Science Foundation (NASA). Sources: 6, 7

The images show that parts of the solar atmosphere, considered dark and largely empty, are filled with electrified gases. Sources: 6

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has flown past the sun for the first time with a camera that can safely photograph it.

The mission, estimated at just 0.28 AU, captured some of the most detailed images of our sun ever seen, including the first images of its poles. That is why the new images from the Solar Orbiter, showing the surface of the Sun, its atmosphere and its magnetic field, are so valuable. Sources: 7, 8

The most detailed images of the sun’s surface ever taken are the result of a three-year mission by NASA’s Solar and Planetary Orbiter (SPO) mission, which cost $1.2 billion (now $2.5 billion). Scientists today released the first images from the first three months of the mission from Maui, Hawaii. Sources: 8

As in the first picture of DKIST we see details We have never seen it before, and in this image taken at 789 nm you can see it in detail. Just as we saw in our first images of the sun from the first three months of the SPO mission, in these first images of the DKist. Sources: 4, 8

This image shows the turbulent boiling gas that covers the entire Sun, with the Sun’s surface at 789 nm in the center of the image and the Sun at a distance of about 1,000 km. Sources: 1

Researchers have captured the best – and most resolute – view of the sun ever, with a resolution of about 1,000 km at a distance of about 1.5 million km. This image is the first light to reveal unprecedented details of the surface of our sun. So if you are dazzled by looking at the nearest star with the naked eye, do yourself a favor and look at this image, the most detailed one ever. Sources: 4, 5

This is a typical image of the sun taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) at a distance of about 1.5 million kilometers. This resolution image, with a resolution of 1,000 km, is the first time we have really looked at the surface of our sun. Sources: 5

This type of image shows some detail, but is missing in many other parts of the solar system, such as the solar surface. This new ESO VLT image is the first image of our sun from a distance of 93 million miles. Only two such systems have been observed, and even rarer are those recorded at a distance of less than 1.5 million kilometers with a resolution of about 1,000 kilometers. Sources: 2, 5

Click on the image to see the entire frame, and you can see in the new image that the innermost star of the Sun – like the planet Enceladus – is in the top left of the frame. When the ESO VLT image at the top of this page captured the first image of an exoplanet around a failed star in our own solar system in 2004, it was also the first telescope to imaging exoplanets directly. Sources: 2

The Solar Orbiter mission cost about $1.5 billion, including NASA’s Atlas 5 rocket. The US space agency spent $70 million on the construction and flew in a highly elliptical orbit that carried it to a distance of about 1,500 miles (2,000 kilometers) from the sun. Sources: 3

It will take about two years for the Solar Orbiter to reach the right orbit to observe the sun’s polar regions. The mission of the probe is to get a vantage point on the sun that we have not been able to see with a probe before. The discovery at the campfire is part of a joint mission by ESA and NASA that launched from Florida on February 9. Sources: 0

In the meantime, the vehicle is testing its ten scientific instruments, including its camera, as well as its payload on solar panels and solar wind instruments. Sources: 0

Meanwhile, the Solar Orbiter will be able to use its high-resolution camera to photograph the sun for the first time, something that the Parker Solar Probe lacks. This camera poking around in the corona, a region of the solar system’s outermost layer of plasma and solar wind, will provide the most accurate image of our sun ever taken. The Parker probe shows us plasma from the corona that we have never seen before on previous missions, “says Dr. Michael O’Neill, associate professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego and member of Parker’s Applied Physics Laboratory. 

Cited Sources

Sunday Special: #Zugswang

Zugswang is a position of disadvantage in Chess when the player must make a move when they rather pass it and not move at all.

Its a mandatory step that one must take without having an option to skip.

The leading party definitely enjoys it so that they can be at an assailable advantage with it.

Imagine now that two machines or algorithms are facing this situation.

If you have 15 minutes today, spare that time to watch the video below. It a classic competition between Stockfish and Alpha Zero.

Its a beautiful game of chess and you can see how AlphaZero is able to strangle Stockfish into a Zugswang position. With not much left in the position of Zugswang, Stockfish gives up and loses.

Simply brilliant chess between two artificial brains with one prevailing over the other.

While Stockfish made comebacks after this but the overall score between AlphaZero and Stockfish stays in favour of the former by a long distance.

Lets if Stockfish 8 or later version can take the ‘revenge’ with Zugswang from AlphaZero.

In the real world though, things are little different. Got this over WhatsApp and can’t stop laughing.

Enjoy your Sunday 🙂